The Evolution of Chinese Soft Power in the Americas
This chapter examines Chinese soft power in Latin America and the Caribbean and its evolution. In contrast to US soft power in the region, which is primarily based in cultural affinity and value identification, this chapter argues that Chinese soft power is primarily based on the expectation of benefit, which coexists in the region with high levels of distrust toward the Chinese. The chapter examines China’s exercise of its soft power through cultural channels such as Hanban, and its extensive people-to-people diplomacy. It also highlights its growth and evolution through the expansion of Chinese companies in the region and their interaction with local elites and communities. It also examines the role of the Belt and Road Initiative and other branding efforts as part of that soft power.